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All-electric Model S runs the 1/4 mile in 12.5-seconds at 110.9 mph

It’s doubtful that many people believe manufacturer estimates when it comes to fuel efficiency or driving range for electric vehicles. The driving range for electric vehicles obtained in government tests is often a far cry from real world numbers. On public roads, driving range for an electric vehicle depends on the terrain, how heavy the driver's right foot is, and even the temperature. 
The guys over at Motor Trend have laid hands on a Tesla Model S and set out to get a real world driving distance. The car used for the driving distance test is a Model S Signature Performance 85, and this particular vehicle happened to be Tesla CEO Elon Musk's personal ride. The test of the Model S also involved putting down some performance numbers, which enthusiasts will be interested to hear.
The big four-door Model S was able to hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. It also ran a virtually silent 12.5-second quarter mile pass at 110.9 mph. Those are impressive numbers for a gasoline-powered sedan, putting the Model S Signature Performance 85 in the same company as the BMW M5 and the Mercedes CLS 63 AMG among others.

Tesla Model S
The real question though is how far can the car drive. Being able to hit 60 as quick as an AMG badged Mercedes is impressive, but not so much if the battery pack is dead shortly thereafter. The largest battery pack available in the Model S is rated by the EPA at 265 miles in extended range mode.
After the performance testing was done, the car was completely recharged even though it is only consumed what the onboard computer said was 13 miles of range despite the quarter-mile passes and other performance tests. The real world driving distance test took place in California heading towards San Diego via Interstate 15 before hitting the I-5 and then the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway. The map showed the driving distance to be 240 miles.
Motor Trend says that the test was conducted with the air conditioner off, but ventilation on, cruise set at 65 mph, and the body lowered on its air suspension for driving distance. Apparently, the car was 1.7 miles short of making it the full 240 miles in real world traffic. Rather than run out of power the tester plugged the car and to get the extra few miles of driving range.
Motor Trend figures the real world driving range is 238 miles in their testing, 11% short of the claims 265. 

Source: Motor Trend

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RE: impressive
By nafhan on 8/29/2012 4:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
Of course some ideal technology we haven't invented connected to a power grid we don't have would be better. If you're imagining things, why would you imagine anything less than perfect? I don't agree that major technological and infrastructure changes are a "simple" solution, though, and even though I think we'll have what you describe at some point, there's no guarantee of when: it might be decades or more.

It also sounds like both you and Spuke would prefer to own the battery in an electric car and deal with that set of problems. Since I'm certainly not advocating making battery ownership illegal, that's also irrelevant. I merely proposed a solution to the charging time problem that would be feasible and relatively easy to implement, today. I'm also missing what exactly is convoluted about this. You want a new battery: you get one. You need a new battery: you get one. Paying a fixed rate up-front to do that is almost certainly simpler than attempting to deal with used battery valuation.

Also, the solution I described would not lock you into a provider beyond the term of the lease. In fact, it seems likely that legislation mandating interoperability between different manufacturers would be a good idea and a necessary prerequisite. Seriously, OEM only batteries that are different for every vehicle on the road would be it's own kind of vendor lock in hell.

RE: impressive
By Spuke on 8/29/2012 5:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
It also sounds like both you and Spuke would prefer to own the battery in an electric car and deal with that set of problems.
Nope! I would prefer to own a car that meets my needs (and desires since I'm an enthusiast). Gasoline cars do everything I want with no trade-offs. There might be an EV in my household (it won't be my car per se...probably the wifes) but a few things have to happen.

1. Overall costs less than an equivalent gasoline car. If I'm going to save money by not using gas there MUST be a cost savings over an equivalent gas car.

2. Performance must be the same as an equivalent gas car. Most EV's are much heavier than gas. The weight has to come down. I don't care if it's faster in a straight line I'm not driving a slammed pickup truck. No pigs.

3. Range must be at LEAST 120 miles in all conditions and environments. That means A/C in 120F going up a 6% grade, heater on in 20F, radio on loud, charging my phone, all at 85 mph. I do this in my vehicles will no issues whatsoever.

For me to drive one personally, there is an additional requirement:

4. Must be under $15k used with acceptable miles. Sometime in the future I'm buying an older, classic car (there's a certain '69 BMW I'm hoping will come back on the market) and I'm wanting a commuter type car to go with it. I might be willing to buy an EV provided the above is met.

RE: impressive
By nafhan on 8/30/2012 10:19:57 AM , Rating: 2
Nope! I would prefer to own a car that meets my needs
I can't say I disagree with any of the four "needs" you require in a possible electric car. If I came up with a list like that, it'd probably be very similar. However, that's not really what we were talking about. None of those points appear to be directly related to the battery ownership vs. leasing discussion we were having.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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